We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Ethnography's capacity to contribute to the cumulation of theory : a case study of strong's work on Goffman.

Hillyard, S. (2010) 'Ethnography's capacity to contribute to the cumulation of theory : a case study of strong's work on Goffman.', Journal of contemporary ethnography., 39 (4). pp. 421-440.


This article discusses how ethnography can contribute toward the development of sociological theory. It uses a case study of one theoretical idea refined through ethnographic fieldwork—Phil Strong’s (1979; 1988) work on Erving Goffman’s theory of ceremony.The article argues that Strong effectively applied Goffman’s ideas to different settings and successfully extended Goffman’s ideas on ceremony. In doing so, Strong demonstrated how ethnography can be more productive in developing theoretical ideas, but this productivity relied on his personal enthusiasm for theory and fieldwork. Strong’s theoretical empiricism provides an exemplar of how theory and conceptual refinement can grow as a result of doing ethnography the right way.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Encounter, Ethnography, Goffman, Strong, Theory.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:The final definitive version of this article has been published in the journal Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 39/4, 2010 © SAGE Publications Ltd at the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Record Created:05 Sep 2012 09:20
Last Modified:16 Apr 2014 14:15

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library